From Camera to Screen
When I started working with BrandJRNY, one of the hardest things to do was to put aside my editing style when it comes to photos. In my personal work, I tend to go for a darker, moodier look with a good bit of contrast. However, as the BrandJRNY photographer, I want to keep the photo as natural looking as possible. Thankfully, I already had experience with this from being a part of WVU’s student newspaper, the Daily Athenaeum.
My editing workflow varies from my personal and professional work. Sports and events are always professional work for me; I don’t do them on my own. My personal work is usually portraits and landscape photos. If you’re a little confused about the different types of photography, here’s a list of the major genres and what each one is. I could sit and describe every step of my editing process for each, but I’m going to try and describe it as broadly as possible. I shoot sports for the DA and I edit them very naturally at halftime. After the game is over, I upload them to the team Google Drive. I then spend the next few days editing them to match my own personal look and feel. For events, on the other hand, I start to edit almost as soon as I get home and use a lighter edit. I have all of these photos done by the end of the next day.
For my personal work, however, I start to edit when I first get home from shooting, but I never sit down and finish them in one go. I like to get a handful of photos done and then take about an hour or so break to give my eyes a reset, and then repeat the process until I’m done. For BrandJRNY, however, I do a bit of all of that. Our photos are due a couple of days after an event, so I go through and pick out my best pictures and edit a handful at a time until they’re all done.
When I’m editing, there’s a small list of things that I’m looking for. Since my job is to document the BrandJRNY team, I’m looking to make sure the subject is in focus and not making any weird faces, emotions/facial expressions (such as laughing and smiling or serious and straight-faced), and where the subject is placed in the photo.
Here are a few tips for editing photos:
Choose the best moments. If somebody is laughing, you should pick the photo that shows the height of their laughter. If people are hugging, choose the picture where they’re closest to each other.
Set the white balance. If the colors in the photo don’t look like they naturally do, you’ll need to fix the white balance. You can manually set the white balance using the eyedropper tool, selecting the whitest part of the photo, or using the auto white balance. Most times, auto looks just fine, but sometimes you’ll have to play around with the temperature and tint sliders to get it just right.
Adjust the exposure. If your photo is a little dark or bright, try adjusting the exposure. You can use the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks sliders to make the photo brighter or darker and fine-tune certain aspects of the overall exposure.
I go back every day until they’re due and make sure that none of them are over or underexposed, the colors look right, etc.
The biggest difference for me when shooting for BrandJRNY is community engagement. Whenever I post my work on Instagram, Twitter, or even Facebook, I get engagement from my friends, family, and other creatives that I know. But the engagement on BrandJRNY’s posts is different. Aside from the team members that are liking the post and sharing it, the people engaging with my photos are the community members.
I grew up about an hour from Point Pleasant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. I understand how much pride residents take in their town, and to me, them liking my photos is the only engagement I need.
My name is Seth Seebaugh and I am the BrandJRNY photographer. My earliest memories of WVU come from watching the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and the 2010 Final Four with my dad. Follow me through our journey — @KingSethington